How to Save Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars with Virtual Staging

by Rayhanna Guillen, on Mar 1, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Staging for real estate is a pure form of art. It’s also extremely expensive. And many commercial real estate owners dish out thousands of dollars a model unit to have an interior designer visualize, prep and decorate in order to market a property.

There's only one major flaw in this process: staged apartment units aren't available for rent which means management companies let go of the opportunity to profit.

That’s why more property owners and developers are turning to virtual staging services, a timely and cost effective solution that quickly sells or rents a space.

What is virtual staging?

So what does virtually staged mean exactly? Virtual staging is the process of taking a photograph of an empty room and staging the photo with 3D rendered furniture and decor to produce a photo-realistic furnished space.

Here’s an example of a before and after virtually-staged model unit:



Who benefits from virtual staging?

Virtual staging is typically used by those in real estate, including:

  • Real Estate Agents
  • Property Owners / Landlords
  • Developers

"For sale by owners" can even benefit from the results of virtual staging due to its cost effective nature and creative freedom it allows.

Virtual Staging Saves Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars a Year

The biggest hurdle with staging a property is that it is cost prohibitive.

Staging a model unit can range anywhere from $7,000 to $30,000 depending on several factors. That number can climb even higher or more per model for high-end furnishings and decor.

And for a model unit that isn’t producing a monthly rent, that number feels even more extreme.

Staging a model unit can range anywhere from $7,000 to $30,000 depending on several factors. That number can climb even higher or more per model for high-end furnishings and decor.

For larger multifamily property owners or development companies, that number can soar into the hundreds of thousands of dollars if they’re staging model units for a long list of properties.

That’s where virtual staging plays a vital role in keeping costs low and return high.

How much does virtual staging cost?

Virtual staging can cost anywhere from under $100 to a couple hundred dollars per photo — that’s less than what it would cost for the initial design consultation with an interior designer.

The cost of virtual staging is dependent on the type of staging a customer wants: a still image or a 360.

In comparison to actually staging a property, cost is significantly lower and the rate of return is much higher. Why? Because that empty model unit that has been virtually-staged can be rented out, and creative freedom and quality control is intact.

Virtual Staging is More Than Cost Effective  It’s Efficient

Real staging for the average model unit can take a couple weeks. An interior designer will spend weeks preparing and purchasing or renting staging elements, researching the property, initial consultation, a walk-through, and moving furniture in and out of the space. That also includes any repairs that may need to be done.

That's why virtual staging is your best option.

How long does virtual staging take?

While there are a lot of hard-working pieces to virtual staging, the turnaround time is much quicker because there are really only two major components of the process.

 The Process of Virtual Staging

If you have a high-quality photograph of an empty space ready to go, the process of virtual staging can take as little as a week to two weeks.

With virtual staging, the process is pretty smooth — managers work with a 3D design team to discuss style of the space, what the area is like, choose any piece of furniture design they’d like (high-end, hip, modern, rustic) — all for a pretty minimal cost and fast turnaround.

Remember that staging isn’t so much about decorating a space. It’s about marketing the space so that future tenants can see themselves in it.

Taking Back Creative Control with Virtual Staging

Virtual staging offers a slew of benefits, but one of the most compelling is the ability to control every aspect of the 3D staging process.

Sure, an interior designer works with the real estate management team to meet expectations, but virtual staging allows more creative freedom and quality control that a staged apartment can’t always meet.

For example, you now have a high-quality photograph of an empty property space along with a photo-realistic virtually staged photo. Both of these assets are wonderful marketing tools. Empty photos let future residents better visualize how they may lay out their own furniture and a virtually-staged photo is a lot more compelling from a visual marketing standpoint.

Once an apartment is staged, it's staged. But virtual staging allows freedom to edit and give more creative input. Materials can be adjusted and furniture can be easily swapped out.

The staging process is when the property itself comes to life.

It gives future tenants the power to envision their everyday routine in a space that can potentially be theirs. Management companies and property owners have the power to rent out an apartment much quicker than an empty space for the simple reason that it gives the tenant a better picture of the use of the space rather than leaving everything to the imagination.

With virtual staging, the control is in your hands.

If you haven't considered testing out the benefits of virtual staging yet, contact us so we can help bring your next project to life from concept to creation.

Topics:Virtual Staging


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